Assessor, coroner debate enlightening

At a candidate forum, Montezuma County Assessor Scott Davis sat at the end smirking, jesting with the audience during questions directed at other candidates and coming off as entitled. I went into this forum not much caring about who ended up being assessor, but after Davis’ antics at the debate my vote will certainly be going to Cynthia Claytor. She has the experience, professionalism and she brought additional information. In particular to one question asked about agricultural land zoning, Davis’ response was essentially there are no set guidelines and that the office just wings it, whereas Claytor did say that there were some arbitrary rules but gave additional information that people who rent pasture or farm land can use to qualify the land for agricultural land zoning. This was something I was not aware of and that is the whole point of debates: learning new things about the position.

I refuse to vote for someone who laughs at the question of how to handle suicide cases. Shame on coroner candidate George Deavers — especially when we are a county that faces an exorbitantly high suicide rate. In the same answer, Deavers referenced a possible case of suicide that was recognizable and close to the hearts of many, including myself, in this community. It was insensitive and offensive. The moderator was attempting to help Deavers with feeder questions that catered to his strengths as a county coroner and Deavers managed to flub up those. Michael Hall exhibited desirable qualities for a coroner — in particular with how to be respectful but maintain professionalism with differing religious and cultural beliefs of the deceased and their families. Deavers made light of the question, referring to some of the Native American traditions as “weird.” For all the experience he has he lacks compassion and professionalism and those are two qualities I feel matter more than years on the job. I hope that the debate and this letter results in some “Deavers for Coroner” signs ending up in rubbish collection bins where they belong.

Kelsey Maez